Organised to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of St. Mary’s Orthodox Church {Jalahalli}, Kahalam is a two-day food and music festival. While they do have musical performances by renowned Kerala-based singers such as MG Sreekumar and Ranjini Jose, what got us excited is the thought of tucking into over 101 authentic Kerala dishes, courtesy a food festival by Kappa Chakka Kandhari {a city-based food venture that specialises in the state’s cuisine}. And, it’s not just the usual Karimeen Fry {pearl spot fish fry} and tapioca dishes that you’ll find here. From different types of puttu {rice steamed cakes with fillings like meat, fish and prawns} to regional specials, there’s quite a lot on offer. So, we turned to the folks from Kappa Chakka Kandhari to help pick out {and decode} ten dishes to look out for at the food festival. Thank us later!

Vazhapoo Vada

Healthy and tasty, Vazhapoo Vadas are crispy patties made with banana blossoms and are great to be paired with a cup of hot tea.

Shappu Kappa


Photo: Abraham Marett

While dishes made with kappa {tapioca} are quite a staple in Kerala cuisine, we’re hoping to try out its popular variant, the Shappu Kappa, a toddy-shop speciality made with a special blend of spices.

Tharavu Mappas

Meat lovers, don’t miss this duck curry with a creamy coconut milk gravy, prepared in a typical Thanneermukkom {a village in Allepey district of Kerala} style.

Pork Fry Udayamperoor Style


Photo: Kappa Chakka Kandhari

What makes this spicy pork fry worth a try? It is prepared in the Udayamperoor {in Ernakulam district of Kerala} toddy shop style. And, ask any Keralite what the small town is known for and they’ll tell you right away — it’s home to the rustic and popular Mullapanthal toddy shop.


A traditional taro root curry prepared with coconut and curd, and seasoned with coconut oil, the Chembu Asthram is often served as part of the offering at popular temple festivals.

Puzha Meen Curry


Photo: Kappa Chakka Kandhari

Often described as a tribal dish of Kerala, this river fish curry is supposedly something you might never get to taste anywhere else in the city.

Koova Varakiyathu

While arrowroot porridge served with puzhukku {steamed yam} and papaddam {pappad} might not seem too tempting to many, it’s an old school combination that might take hard core Keralites back in time. Try this one for a taste of tradition and nostalgia.

Syrian Beef Fry


Photo: Kappa Chakka Kandhari

An authentic Syrian Christian special, this flavourful beef fry is perked up with slivers of coconut and curry leaves.


Another old time favourite from God’s Own Country, this sweet dish has ripe jackfruit cooked and mixed with flour and jaggery, and steamed in Edana leaves {same family as the bay leaf, but with a more cinnamon-like flavour}.

Kandhari Ice Cream

Perfect to end your eating spree, this bird’s eye chilli ice cream might surprise you with its blend of sweet and spicy flavours.

Where: Manpho Convention Centre, 91/4, Veeranna Palya, Nagawara Ring Road, Opposite BEL Corporate Office, Nagavara

When: Saturday July 16- Sunday, July 17

Price: Free entry to the food festival, INR 500 upwards for the musical eventContact: +91 9840703111

Timings: 10am-10pm

Buy tickets for the music show here.

Find the event on Facebook here.

Feature Photo: Kappa Chakka Kandhari